Looking forward to positive changes ahead

by | Jan 27, 2021

This time last year how could any of us have known the devastation that a pandemic would bring and the dilemmas we would face in deciding upon a holiday destination, let alone the direction our businesses should take. Fortunately, we face 2021 in the knowledge that a vaccination plan is well underway. We have been adapting to new ways of working around a pandemic post Brexit and the public sector has been responding to an ever-changing agenda.

It is probably fair to say that 2020 brought out the best (and the worst) of our business achievements. Many of the coping strategies we formed previously have been reinvented at pace and at a distance. We have needed to adjust and readjust to an ever-changing commercial landscape. These are changing times to be challenged and embraced.

Writing articles and material for the New Horizons Careers website, I strive to get CEOs and business leaders to think differently about how they tackle business transformation and support their people. We provide executive coaching to their Boards and HR teams, frequently encouraging new ways of working (and thinking) about their people challenges. Yes, 2021 will be a year for even more innovation and transformation.

Like many friends and business colleagues I managed to get through last year’s obstacle course with help from a tightly packed freezer, early morning shopping for essentials and a carefully constructed project plan. I was not convinced that online grocery shopping was for me. How could a corporate shopper select the ideal avocado for my smoothie? A few weeks into 2021 and I am converted. My expectation of unreasonable delivery times was mitigated. My reticence to allow someone else to select my fresh produce was unfounded. My shopper will have been trained to exacting standards, customer service standards are there to protect me and there is a business reputation at risk. I really do wonder why I held out for so long.

I have been reflecting on how my barriers to changing shopping habits were unfounded yet very real to me in a specific context. It was busy and I continued to do what I had always done. When things got tricky, I rose to the challenge and created a “work-around” but (in many ways) it was rooted in how things had always been. I needed provisions, so I went shopping for them albeit less-frequently and at different times of the day. It took an impromptu conversation with a client and a pandemic to help me to buy back valuable time.

This prompted me to consider how best to react to some of the anecdotal feedback that remote working is not working. I have heard first-hand stories of managers feeling ill-equipped to manage a dispersed team and colleagues who sense a lack of trust. Yet it seems many are continuing to do what they have always done and simply muddling through.

Here is my challenge to CEOs, HRDs and entrepreneurs – how many of the following questions can you answer with confidence, and how can I help you:

  • How are your managers and their teams adjusting (or not) to the ongoing challenges of remote working?
  • To what extent has the novelty of working without interruption become isolation for your people?
  • How are your managers behaving towards their team members working remotely?
  • What are teams saying about your managers?
  • How do you rate your organisation’s remote working progress?

In addition to our Outplacement support and Career Transition programmes, New Horizons Careers creates bespoke coaching programmes to support corporate change, as well as workplace agility and remote working. We can help your managers to manage at distance.

Last year, I wrote about how our coaches are well-placed to support survivors during times of transition and change, and we came up with some personal development hacks in our article, “Working remotely doesn’t mean an end to personal development”. Both articles attracted positive feedback and this article provides further insights into how we work with corporate clients to facilitate new ways of working. We can work with individual leaders or leaders and their teams, depending on need.

New Horizons Careers can put together a tailored programme which supports your organisation’s transformation, a programme which helps the people who are leaving, as well as the ones who are staying – the ones you need to work differently. Why not get in touch for a chat in confidence?

Call us on 0044 (0)207 831 9843 to let us know how we can help, or send us a message now.